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felt :: feutre

Contemporar y Canadian Felt Exhibition


felt :: feutre sponsors 1

felt :: feutre exhibition

Front Cover Artwork: felt :: feutre would like thank Maggie Tchir for allowing us to use this work as our exhibition image.

I first encountered feltmaking while studying ceramics at the University of Washington. I was exploring ceramic sculpture and introduced handfelted layers to stratify the works. This felt exploration continued over the next decade, returning to the ceramic / felt combination in vessels this last year.

Back Cover Artwork: Andrea Graham-Corugosa (detail) :: Carmella Karijo RotherCocoon7(detail) :: June Jacobs-Drought Revisited (detail)

I appreciate felt’s malleability; it’s sculptural potential whether used in ar t or practical forms, and the richness of colours and textures. This is a tactile craft. The maker has a physically intimate relationship with their objects. Felt is always engaging, whether in the making, or the wearing and viewing.

Layout: Rachel Bevington Copyright © 2013 felt :: feutre and felt-feutre. org. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be republished without the explicit permission of the artists.

Curating this exhibition has been an incredible oppor tunity to be exposed to such a range of highly talented ar tists and their work. From fashion to sculpture, this range is possible when felt is the medium. There is meaning inherent in the materials themselves, an aspect many felt ar tists explore in their work. The ar t works are all traditionally created, but use this as a vehicle to explore conceptual messages. Some of the pieces in this exhibit are highly refined and precise, while others are wild and exotic. All have been selected based on their individual ar tistic merits. From my work as a textile conser vator, I now view textiles on a macro level. That all textiles are built on a collection of individual unique fibres. In felt this is par ticularly apparent, with each fibre neither woven nor spun, but bound only by its own scales to the next to create the whole. The individual pieces in this exhibition similarly bind to build a collection of dynamic Canadian felt ar t. Thank you to our jur y for assisting in the difficult selection process, and to all of the ar tists par ticipating in this exhibition. Laura Keil MFA

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Alexandra Keely MacLean is a visual artist based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. MacLean holds a joint Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree from the University of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. It was while studying at NBCCD that she discovered her passion for the fibre arts, prompting her to continue her studies at the college, where she obtained a Graduate Studies Diploma, Fibre Arts division, in 2012. Although MacLean creates an array of wearable and decorative fibre art pieces, using an assortment of fibers and processes, her true passion is creating beautiful one-of-a-kind art pieces. Her predominant focus as an artist is addressing social and political issues, including environmental degradation, the human condition, inequality and current events, in ways that will inspire her audience to think.

Plume Merino Wool, Acid Dyes, Handstitching 107 x 58 cm (size small) 2013 Photographer : Lance Kenneth Blakney

Alexandra Keely MacLean New Brunswick

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April Oval white vessel with lacy cut away areas and red interior bulb 20 x 45 x 40cm 2012 Jacqueline Bourque New Brunswick

I have been working in fibre for most of my life. I started knitting and stitching with my mother as a child. I fell in love with weaving at college. I have explored spinning, dyeing, and basketry. But it is with felt that I feel I have found my voice. Felt is fabulous! I love being able to have complete control over the material as a means of expression. Lately, I have been exploring the round vessel and how it can be manipulated to evoke a feeling or make a statement.

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Corugosa Wool, Horsehair, Stiffening Medium 80 x 70 x 12cm 2013

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Conjoined - The contrasting colour and texture in this three dimensional form is a play of light and dark. The pod form speaks to regeneration as the keeper of the seeds and their magical potential. Corugosa - Organ, plant or something else altogether, monochromatic felted wool sculpted and stiffened allows light and shadow to transform the work. Simplicity and iconic form coupled with primitive materials hold beauty and power. Andrea Graham resides in Ontario, Canada and exhibits and teaches feltmaking techniques internationally. Andrea is often recognized for her three dimensional multimedia forms and installations that speak to political matters related to food and the environment. 2014 for Andrea will include a joint exhibition at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario, and solo exhibits in the State of Flux space at the Modern Fuel Gallery in Kingston, Ontario and the DHG Gallery in Prato, Italy. Andrea was a 2013 Niche Award finalist and a series of sculptures have recently been acquired by the Bronfman family for the Claridge corporate collection. Andrea looks forward to taking her work and expertise to Holland, Germany, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand in 2014-2015.

Conjoined Wool, Silk, Stiffening Medium 30 x 74 x 8cm 2013 Andrea Graham Ontario


Having worked with fibre since 1980, I often muse why it is important to spend time forming the invisible, where meaning resides in the void between the forms or within the work itself. I love working with fibre, because each fibre leaves its mark of spirit and the life lived. This gives me a head start. Working with and listening to the animal and plant based materials, I center into my origin, my gesture and my direction, with each mark building form. In the doing I set myself ready for the next footstep.

Median Handmade Wool Felt, Horsehair, Silk, Anilin Dye, Steel, Wood, Wax 95 x 20 x 25CM 2012 Photographer : Janet Dwyer Joanne Circle British Columbia

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Born in coastal northern BC, but living west to east and back in Canada, I am a person who has lived more than two thirds of my life by the sea. Relationship to place through landscape has been the central theme of my textile work, first through colour and currently through form based on specific elements of the coastal landscape of my rural island home in the Pacific Northwest. I work with wool, a material which needs to submit to a process mirroring the unstoppable rhythm of the sea to transform from insubstantial airiness to substantial textile. I am concerned with “nature deficit� and how experiences in nature contribute to human health, well-being and spirit. I create work that encapsulates an experience of nature for an audience that often must deliberately seek out and arrange such meaningful experiences.

White Noise (with video projection) Wet felting with wool + silk, fibre, fabrics and yarns 173 x 155cm 2011 Deborah Dumka British Columbia

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Barcelona Wool-Nuno Felt, Soluble Textile Medium 2012

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For nearly thirty years, I have based my approach on the conviction that clothing is a creation unto itself, one that melds the pictorial and plastic arts with the form and movement of the human body. It is my hope that all of my work evokes a singular and unique approach born of my personal desire to revisit the concept of “Art à Porter” so cherished by the iconic Sonia Delaunay. By playing with combinations of colour and printed patterns, opacity and transparency, ethnic motifs and mixed reference sources, I aspire to create textile works that, though exotic in appearance, elude traditional classification, creating a unique fusion that eschews a dominant ethnic reference while having the power to conjure them all. When asked about my motivation, I like to answer in the words of the great Issey Miyake: “If I am asked what I do, I say I create happiness.”

Tableau 2 Wool-Nuno Felt 2012 Photographer : David Bishop Noriega Rosie Godbout Quebec


Shibori Kimono Merino Wool, Silk Chiffon, Silk Fibres, Shibori Dyed using Acid Dyes 2013 Jessica de Haas British Columbia

Jessica De Haas has had a lifelong passion for fibre arts. After nearly a decade of travels, interspersed with both formal art school training and self-directed studies, she settled down in Vancouver and started her clothing line, Funk Shui. Using the ancient art of feltmaking, Jessica creates gorgeous, one of a kind fabric which is sculpted into wearable pieces such as hats, shawls, scarves and jackets. She is fascinated by the metamorphosis of ordinary materials into something extraordinary. Jessica has been selling her work from her Atelier on Granville Island since 2006. She has taught and exhibited locally and internationally, most recently at the Textile Museum of Oaxaca, in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

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Creative imagining, intuition and intent flow from heart to mind to hands as I introduce diverse strands of wool and silk to a river of silk fabric. Inspiration originates in my life experiences and emotions, an aspect of nature, or simply from the desire to know a fibre or understand a colour more intimately. Allowing the felting process to happen organically ensures an ethereal outcome: a dramatic free form textural landscape where fibres and fabrics leap from the surface. Hand-painting the felted piece allows joyous play while creating an extravaganza of colour with subtle mergings. Fibres and colours meet, embrace and become one, giving birth to a wild and unexpected beauty. Originating externally, and then flowing through me, a strong river of connectedness runs through each piece, holding a moment and the moment, seemingly capturing the past, the present and leading the way toward the future.

Memory of Rose Superfine Merino Wool, Silk, Hand Spun Silk Yarn, Banana Fibre, Hand Painted With Dye 2013 Judith Dios British Columbia

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Cocoon 5 Merino, Bluefaced Leicester; natural wool and red wool hand dyed; wet felting with resist, shibori; 26 x 18cm 2013

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I value simplicity in line and form, highlighting natural shades of wool with minimum brushes of hand-dyed colour. Soft, pliant, and processed simply by hand, felt is organic and comforting. Working the felt in my studio, surrounded by the woods of Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Quebec, brings me closer to nature, a primary force throughout my life. The Japanese have a word, ‘ma’, that expresses the space or interval between things. It refers to both physical entities and aspects of Japanese culture, as reflected in people’s behaviour. ‘Ma’ offers room to breathe, reflect and contemplate, to provide openness for the imagination of the viewer. This is the place where I wish my work to be.

Cocoon 7 Merino, Bluefaced Leicester; Natural Wool And Red Wool Hand Dyed, Porcupine Quills; Wet Felting With Resist, Shibori; Wool Filling 23 x 15cm 2013 Carmella Karijo Rother Quebec


Rose Plate Needle Felted Wool 150 x 150cm 2012 Elizabeth Roy Manitoba

“My current work ‘Smashing Dishes’ calls into question the historical positioning of women-as-artists and current social hierarchies of craft and fine art reception. My process of hand felting is a slow, laborious, and sometimes painful method that, in its effect is an attempt to demystify cliches of artistic inspiration. Though it may appear to valorize stereotypes of fine craft and the attendant assumptions of perfectionism and aesthetics of finish, it further attempts to reframe this via the employment of an obdurate material. The particular wool used crossbreed sliver, carded not spun, all natural and not dyed. It is a monochrome, unaesthetic chromatic grey choice that no matter how much labour I apply remains lumpen, and unable to be transformed into something ‘precious.’ Its grey ambiguity resembles the raw clay-body of ceramics in the unformed state, a kind of arrested development. My appropriation of this handicraft genre signals multiple conditions: women’s work, a craft subgenre (a lower echelon of value than, say, embroidery), smallness of size and scale. These investigations and processes result in the making of large-scale objects that resemble tableware. Each is based on a specific referent, yet in its artistic form, it is held back by the method of making. A shift in size and material pulls the audience into an uneasy relationship that disrupts expected responses. While clearly nonfunctional, through their dependence on unique and known form they establish a variety of alternative readings to typical or normative histories, hierarchies and roles.”

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My work explores, probes, and, at times, subverts borders of classification. Through this, I am involved in the process of questioning boundaries of inclusion and exclusion; cultures, genders, animals, materials and practices that are rendered “other� by dominant cultures and ways of being with the world. Otherness not only impacts my interest in the interdependencies of human-animal, male-female, nature-culture and art-craft relations but also my engagement with the genres and materials of art. My interest in the processes and materials of contemporary craft emerges from a negotiation of difference, of materials and practices that have been relegated to the historical margins of fine arts practices. The same binaries that argue for the separation of human-animals and nature, and dichotomize male and female, have been used to separate the traditions of craft from the practices of fine arts. Through my studio practice, and the processes of working with and through materials and ideas, I engage with the interdependencies of species, groups, peoples and practices. My recent work explores spaces of ambiguity between otherness, where the other, becomes an-other that permeates the skin of the self, a self that is in turn, saturated by the flesh of the world.

Fluff: In/Significance Small needle felted tufts of wool, thread & acrylic on canvas & board 46 x 61 cm 2013

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An Ecology of Things Needle Felted Corriedale Wool on Wooden Shelves 4 shelves x 31 x 51 cm 2013

Sister Formations Needle Felted Corriedale Wool 15 x 15cm to 15 x 20 cm 2013 Connie Morey British Columbia


“Mind and spirit, intellect and soul join in the creation of the shawl that is linked to flying and the dance of the human soul. In using my recurring motifs of vibrant colours and circles I make these symbols of the human spirit sailing.” Ulrieke Benner is a textile artist and designer. She works with wool and silk to create vibrantly coloured one-of-a-kind clothing and art. The rich colours she uses produce striking creations that are distinctive and unique. Ulrieke studied Textile Design in Germany, in Massachusetts and, in Boston, worked with Carter Smith, an internationally known designer. She has been a feltmaker since 1996. Ulrieke has a M. Ed. and BFA in Textile Design and Fiber Arts. Originally from Germany, Ulrieke has lived and worked on Salt Spring Island since 2001. She has exhibited in Canada, the US, Europe and most recently has a third solo exhibition at Jurgen Lehl, Japan. Ulrieke’s art is featured in exclusive galleries internationally Colours’ Circular Dance Merino Wool, Silk Fabric 250 x 50cm 2013 Photographer : John Cameron Ulrieke Benner British Columbia

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Elisabeth Wannaz began her career in commercial art as a jeweller before trading her precious metals for textile in the early 90’s. Using a wide array of materials such as linen, velvet, straw, lycra, leather and fur, she created a bold and eccentric line of hats for a discerning and sophisticated clientele. Her discovery some years later of the richness and versatility of felt opened the door to a new world of creativity. Elisabeth began creating fabrics whose harmonies of colour added a touch of whimsy to her already cutting-edge designs. Since then, not wishing to restrict herself to hats, Elisabeth decided to apply the versatility of felt in the creation of clothing. With care and dedication she now incorporates her skills as a jeweller into creating clothing that’s durable, contemporary and of the finest quality.

Contemporaine Merino Wool 2013 Photographer : David Bishop Noriega Elisabeth Wannaz Quebec

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Sea Trumpet Merino Wool, Wire, Marbles 51 x 13 x 10cm 2013 Cindy Obuck Saskatchewan

Sea Trumpet is created using merino wool, combining 3-D sculptural work, wet and needle felting, and shibori techniques. Cindy has always had an interest in art; however it wasn’t until she discovered fibre art that she decided to follow her passion. She has a certificate in graphic design and works full time as a graphic/web designer. Although she is a self-taught artist, she feels her work experience has helped in designing her art. She enjoys using various mediums in her art such as organza, cheese cloth, chiffons, yarns and beads. She likes to experiment with various embellishments to add dimension and interest to her work, which has an abstract and contemporary feel to it. Cindy has had three solo shows to date and is a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council.

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Using bold colours with an overabundance of pattern, texture and trim transforms the everyday into the fantastic. By multi-layering simple shapes and textures I create complex pieces with hidden depths that allow the viewer to explore the joy of imaginary worlds. Hand stitching and beading add further dimension to the simple shapes. I like people to smile when they see my work. My traditional working occupation is in the applied arts, with many years experience in architectural and graphic design. My formal post-secondary education includes fine arts, psychology, interior design, certificates in Textile Surface Design and Sustainable Building Design and numerous workshops in various arts medium. My present artistic focus is on felting, with a particular interest in nuno felting. I am a founding member and present co-director of The Art Hive Artists Co-operative and former board member of Haliburton Highlands Arts Council. I teach at the Haliburton School of the Arts and facilitate textile based workshops for children and adults at various locations.

Open Windows Wool 34 x 34 x 3cm 2013 Sandi Luck Ontario

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Joomchi Dress: Reveal Merino Wool, Silk Gauze, Silk Habotai, Various Resist Materials, Natural Dyes, Silk Threads 2013

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“We expose aspects of ourselves, our dreams, thoughts, histories, inadvertently or with intention. These windows into the self change over the course of our days and lives, and will be ‘read’ differently depending on the perspective of the viewer. The multiple layers, folds and openings in my work represent this concept. I find it fascinating to engage with this idea when the human body is the structure to be enveloped and revealed by wearable art pieces. Joomchi is a Korean art traditionally practised in paper…I am particularly inspired by the work of Jiyoung Chung. I appreciate this cross pollination in craft, with one artist and medium inspiring new forms in another. Through Joomchi Felting, I work with folds, felted lace, screens, felt conglomerations; a layering of surfaces that expose new elements through the various pockets and openings. I start every project with white fibres, focussing on the interplay of surfaces and textures. After the work has been completely felted, I display it in my studio, sometimes for a few weeks, until the colours called for become obvious. I dye each piece using a combination of shibori and immersion techniques with multiple passes through the dye baths. Like the wool surfaces, building up layers. I then add simple stitches that connect the phrases of patterning like lines of topography or songlines…the concluding chapter in the narrative of each work.” Fiona Duthie is a fibre artist, writer, and craft educator based on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. She first encountered feltmaking in 1996 and it immediately became her medium and passion. Raw wools, shibori shaping and dyeing, resist shaping and dyeing, stitches, prefelts, layering, embedding, carving… she explores the world through surface design in feltmaking. Fiona has exhibited her work in Canada, New Zealand and the UK.

Cleft Norwegian Wool, Merino Wool, Silk Habotai, Various Resist Materials, Natural and Acid Dyes, Wool and Silk Threads 90 x 60 x 20cm 2013 Fiona Duthie British Columbia


EARTH NEST Nest: hand wet-felted merino wool, with barley seeds, maple sticks Plinth: Hand Wet-felted Assorted Wool Rugs Stacked; Corriedale, Perendale, Romney, Merino wools 76 x 76 x 152 cm 2011 Photographer : Jeremy Addington

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‘There is a word in Sanskrit for the point of return: it is pratikraman. Its opposite is atikraman, which means stepping outside our natural limits. Atikraman happens when we break the universal law. Returning to the centre of one’s being or to the source of inner wisdom is pratikraman. These two Sanskrit words provide a useful approach to understanding the current human predicament and a possible way out.”

Kathleen Hill is a mixed media fibre artist. Graduating from the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, in 1998, Kathleen has an established art practice in Rossland, BC. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and is represented in collections in Canada and the U.S. In 2000 Hill was a Columbia Basin Trust artist grant recipient. Kathleen conducts workshops in traditional and contemporary textile processes throughout BC and in Washington State. Kathleen Hill British Columbia

Satish Kumar We are troubled with the state of the world. Born of a shared concern for our home planet we are compelled to respond. Restoration, rejuvenation and sustainability lay at the matrix of all life systems. The EARTH NEST is an invocation for contemplation and reflection about our communal relationship with our Cosmic House, this biosphere that we call HOME. Earth Nest We are the beauty Seeding the earth We are the barely Rooting Be still and quietly grow a deeper communion.

Exhibiting nationally and internationally Maggie Tchir’s mixed media fibre works are included in private and corporate collections in Canada and abroad. Tchir taught textiles for 20 years at Kootenay School of the Arts. As a consultant with the Navajo Sheep is Life Feltmaking Project Tchir introduced and promoted the art of felt on the reservation (1997- 2005) and was a Research Associate at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, NM. Textile study residencies include Tibet, Nepal/India, Peru and France. Tchir is a recipient of artist grants from the CCBC Grace Cameron Rogers Scholarship, The Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation, The Banff Centre and The Columbia Basin Foundation. Born in Vancouver, Tchir has lived the past 35 years in Nelson. Maggie Tchir British Columbia

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“White Winter is created in hand felted wool, silk & recycled vintage lace from my great grandmothers wedding dress from the 1800’s. This piece is one in a series of 10 handmade felted dresses, each representing a Canadian season and landscape. I made these dresses as a challenge to myself last winter combining my two craft mediums and passions, Fashion and Felting.” Lindsey studied fiber arts for three years at the Kootenay School of the arts in Nelson, B.C and followed that with 2 years at the international academy of design in Toronto where she received her diploma in fashion design. Having a passion for all things fiber and textile related, as well as a love of the Canadian landscape, Lindsey also creates ‘FELTSCAPES’, felted scenes reminiscent of works by members of The Group of Seven, and inspired by her family’s island on Georgian Bay where she spends her summers. Lindsey shows her work continuously throughout the year in various galleries and exhibits in British Columbia and Ontario, and is a permanent member of the Craft Connection, artist co-op in Nelson where she shows and sells her work, all year long. White Winter Wool, Silk & Recycled Vintage Lace 2013 Lindsey MacTavish British Columbia

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“When I collect or work with a fabric, yarn or fibre, I respond emotionally to what I perceive is it’s quality, cultural, era, class or gender context. Silk, for example, embody the exotic, delicate or indulgent. I alter context by changing an aspect of scale, design, or technique conventions.” Maureen is an Ottawa-based artist working with diverse textile techniques and mediums. Her explorations with reclaimed materials and low impact dying practices have informed her renewed clothing line “Waisted,” introduced at the Green Expo Fashion Show presented during the Ottawa Living Green Expo 2013. Also influencing her recent participation in the outdoor textile art installation residency during the Triennale of Textile Arts in the Outaouais 2013, where she knit with reclaimed leather, linen, newspaper and hand spun grass leaves.

Drift Merino Wool Roving, Hand Stitched, Silk Yarn. 236 x 58cm 2011

Meices Wool Roving, Silk & Polyester Fabric, Hand Stitched, Hand Dyed, Hand Spun, Silk Yarn 224 x 51cm 2011

Maureen Ballagh Ontario

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“I travelled far to an island in the Pacific Ocean There I found open valleys, snow covered mountain tops and forests so dark and lush that I felt lost and small The beech trees spreading a divine scent which haunted me for months to come The three sculptures came out of this meeting with this land of the long white clouds, Aotearoa The natural world inspires me; it’s sounds, feel and touch, the textures and forms. My work is inspired by feelings, thoughts and dreams. For several years I have tried to shape, sculpt, fold and cut this warm and woolly material through the process of felting during which it metamorphoses from an array of loose colorful fibers to a strong sturdy textile. It is from the dance of conflicting emotions that creativity and art are born. Though sculpture is usually perceived as static I see it more as movement, the movement of wool from fibers into felt. And as long as there is movement there is life.” Marjolein Dallinga was born in the Netherlands where she studied Fine Arts. She moved to Montréal, Canada, in 1989 to pursue her art career through making art books and jewelry. While raising a family, her creativity led her to toy making and teaching art classes. This led her to discover felting, and she now works in this medium.
The world-renowned CIRQUE DU SOLEIL became interested in Marjolein’s work, and for the last five years she has experimented with felt for their costume design while also creating final products for their shows. 
Marjolein has her own company,, and works from her studio with sewing and dyeing rooms. She has taught felting for thirteen years in North America, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand. Last year she won two awards for her costumes made for the WOW (World of Wearable Art) in New Zealand.

Aotearoa 1,2,3 Wool, Cotton, Silk Linen 2013 Marjolein Dallinga Quebec


The Madeleines is a series of thirteen sculptural, felted dresses made for the use of historical figures and their imaginary engagement in athletic activity such as hockey, boxing, rugby, fencing, baseball, croquet and one referee. “Pleurer comme une Madeleine” or to “cry like a Madeleine” is to cry inconsolably. These Madeleines no longer cry: they are happy, finally to get the chance to participate in the game. They lift up their padded, armored, felted skirts with their gloves to step out onto the ice, the field, the rink. Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder, [2379 A.D.], Roman author of the “Natural History” said that wool felt treated with vinegar would resist iron and fire. The Madeleines are like that too, made of the strongest stuff : like Boadecia, for example. Early on in my felt exploration for the Brassiere Quilt Series [1992-2000], and Felted Sleeping Bag Series [2000-2002], I decided on a combination of silk and merino wool fibres, because of its pliability, softness, skin-like texture, and openness to receive other elements. For The Madeleines old lace and bits of brassieres cut in stylistic leaf shape, make a renaissance in the Madeleine’s felted dresses and sport equipment. These ultrafeminine elements make the felt stronger, and the Madeleines wearing this felted armor feel more substantial. It is a subtle strength not obvious to the viewer.

Madeleine: The Referee Emily Carr Wool, Silk, Deconstructed Stressed Wool Blanket, Antique Lace, Vintage Buttons, Hoop Skirt, Referee Whistle 2013 Angelika Werth British Columbia

The Referee is the last in this series of 13 felted sculpural dresses. I started the Madeleine series in 2003 and completed this series in March of 2013. The first personalities in the Madeleine series are Hayley Wickenheiser and Isobel Stanley to representing Hockey. To complete this series I decided the last personality in history, joining the rest of the Madeleines, would be Emily Carr as Referee. The Referee stands alone.

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Running in the Bush is a wet felted wool sculpture made with an old velour 1940 nightgown, antique lace and silk and deer antlers. I have been a runner for 40 years and taking care of my lungs has always been a priority. When I am in the “zone”, it is like I am a deer freely running through the bush…my breath of life. My interest in natural fibers started 9 years ago after graduating from University of Ottawa in Fine arts. I became intrigued with the beauty and versatility of wool, and set about learning how to felt. Working with this earthy fiber is a constant reminder of our connection with the natural world, which I draw my inspiration from. Creating felt is a very physical and tactile process, which demands my energy and imagination. I get a lot of enjoyment from using the same basic material to make widely different projects. I use wool and recyclable material in a unique style. Through an intuitive combination and manipulation of these materials I express both strength and vulnerability of felt making. My sculptures bear witness to my inner growth and history surrounding me. I also enjoy recycling all natural fabrics and objects that have historical significance and incorporate them in my work. Running In the Bush Wool, Antique Velour, Lace and Silk, Deer Antlers 70 x 40 x 23cm 2013 Diane Lemire Quebec

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“The barred owls sometimes come and stop by the tree. They stay a long time with an unconcerned air… I am inspired by their intense gazing eyes, to look for something… This island is rich in nature. The wild objects invite me to create. “ Aki is a self-taught artist and has been needle felting for 7 years. He first met this wonderful felting world when his daughter attended the Vancouver Waldorf School, He starting making felted toys for his children and learned many techniques through exploration. After moving to Salt Spring Island, Aki started needle felting on a full-time basis. His creating focuses on his observations of his natural environment, using local, island wools. He explores and enjoys the world alongside his three active children and his creative wife. Aki’s work is available at the Salt Spring Island Market, and through several gallery shops in British Columbia.

Gazing Local Wools, Wire, Found Wood 60 x 80 x30cm 2013 Akihisa Otsu British Columbia

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Pine Grosbeak is created using wool and small bits of other fibres, wet and needle-felted, then stitched to mat board and framed, without glass. Living in northern Saskatchewan, I am immersed in the beauty of the Canadian Shield. The tactile nature of felt lends itself to reflect the rugged wildness of the landscape which starts in my backyard. I am passionate about this place; the rocky shores, the boreal forest, the lichens and mosses, the waterways, and the creatures who inhabit it. I take many photographs during my kayak and canoe paddles on the lake, walks through the bush, and even through my kitchen window to use for later reference in my studio.

Pine Grosbeak Wool, Assorted Fibres 58 x 48cm (framed) 2013 Donna Stockdale Saskatchewan

I use wet and needle-felting techniques to create felt pictures and 3-D works to express the rich colour, textures, and the play of light in both the grand and the small places around me.

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Yellow Slouch Hat Merino Wool and Silk 2013

I am fascinated with the relationship that women have with hats. In the hat world, there are two types: those who can wear hats with confidence and those who consider themselves ‘unable’ to wear hats. That difference comes from a woman’s selfimage, a state of mind that evolves over a life time. Beliefs run deep, and a complex set of variables: comfort, style, function and practicability, come into play when selecting a hat. I am enchanted by the glamour of the 20’s and classic design. Inspiration comes from the up-cycled fabrics themselves, details already in the silk or the feeling that the garment conveys. My hats incorporate comfort, style, function and practicality all important aspects when choosing a hat. My current work incorporates silk, beading and sequins with a goal to bridge the gap between felter and milliner - creating hats not only for the glamorous woman in each of us but for the practical girl too, so all will feel empowered to take on the long winters in comfort and unique style.

Black Sequin/Bead Hat Merino wool , Silk, Beads, Sequins. 2013 Trish Hirschkorn New Brunswick

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“The Butterfly” that emerged from my womb of creativity is an expression of my concern for the need of humanity to evolve and transform in our ability to live in health and harmony on this planet together. We will need to change our consumption practices and use eco-sustainable, organic and green energy technology for the welfare of future generations. This creation is nuno felted with merino wool, Salt Spring wool locks, homespun, silk organza and chiffon fabric. It uses double-sided, rosette, ruffle, inlay, and lace felting techniques. Laurie Steffler has been passionate about transforming fibre into felted art since 1986. She is a fibre artist who sells at Circle Craft, Art Market and One of a Kind Shows as Feltscapes Design. She teaches feltmaking in her studio on Salt Spring Island. Her wearable art reflects her love of living close to nature. She graduated from O.C.A.D. as a painter and explores colour and form through the multi-layering of dye baths and textural surface dimensions. She treasures the local angora/wool used in many of her designs. “My enthusiasm for a project blossoms when I expand my horizons to evolve the dye and felting techniques that I use. Evolving is a focus for my inner growth which is reflected in the art I create.” The Butterfly Merino Wool, Local Angora and Wool Locks, Yarns, Silk Chiffon and Organza 2013 Photographer : Billie Woods Laurie Steffler British Columbia

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Canadian Spaces Glory Days Hand Dyed Wool, Cashmere, Silk, Mohair 29 x 24cm (framed) 2013 Maggie Glossop Ontario

“Rocks, water, trees and sky - these are the subjects of my art. I am drawn to and draw strength from the natural environment around me. Through my work I invite the viewer to focus on the beauty that is all around us but is often overlooked. “ Maggie Glossop was born in Canada and educated here and in Great Britain. She is a self taught artist who started exploring the creative uses of fibres and textiles more than forty years ago as a weaver and spinner. In the late eighties, she became one of the first fibre artists to (re)discover feltmaking and her passion shifted from spinning and weaving tapestries to using the medium of wet feltmaking to create her images. Inspired by Nature and working with natural fibres which she dyes herself, Maggie creates unique textured images and sculptural pieces using the ancient techniques of wet feltmaking. She continues to teach, sharing her enthusiasm and creativity with young and old. Maggie has received many awards and grants to support and further her work which is displayed in public, corporate and private spaces.

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My fibre work explores themes bound by nature’s forms, colours, textures and wonder. These influences are translated by various techniques that allow the work to express these feelings and inspiration. Whether the forms are 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional, installation sculptural works or wearable garments. I chose my fibres, mixing and dying them to represent my own colour palette to add to their depth and richness. The addition of various surface embellishment techniques adds focus and draws the eye to capture the details. Combined with other materials expands their vocabulary.

Drought Revisted Wool, Silk, Yarns, Fabric 72 x 128 x 5cm 2012 June Jacobs Saskatchewan

My daily walks in a landscape rich in diversity and subtle in details inspires me to create while allowing me to dream and envision new future works. I focus on certain aspects of the environment, interpreting them and then give them another voice represented in hand felted wool.

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“My design approach is all about making a unique statement while complementing the body. I apply a strong artistic and multicultural identity to something you can wear everyday.” This gown is influenced by Surrealist paintings and sculptures, especially paintings by the great 20th century Surrealist Salvador Dali. Many of the pieces are inspired interpretations of surreal elements in Dali’s paintings such as animals and objects. Hamideh was also inspired by Pynchon: “Could one combine inside the same frame, elements not found normally together to produce illogical and startling effects?” The collection experiments with humanity’s often incongruous connection with nature, in particular by applying natural fabric and natural dyes into the textile creating process in unique and unexpected ways. Hamideh Abol was born in Iran to a family who’s heritage resides in traditional Persian rug weaving. She attended Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she studied Fine Art Techniques. After completing the certificate program, Hamideh took master’s textile design in Italy and apprenticed in pattern-making in Vancouver and Tehran. In 2011 she began designing a collection of couture and was jury selected to debut at Montreal Fashion Week for Fall/Winter 2012. Her designs were lauded for a unique approach to hand-worked fabric and sustainable design. Surrealism Wool Rovings, Wool Locks, Silk Fabrics 2012 Hamideh Abol British Columbia/Milan Photographer: Trevor Brady


My current studio practice is focused on the development of mixed media textile work which focuses on our humanity; the relationships we cultivate with others through our personal-collective voices. The work engages the idea of peace, reconciliation and the environment. The underlying thread in my thinking and actions lies in the importance of diversity and the development of understanding the whole or unity. We have slaughtered in the garden of beauty Digging graves instead of planting Mercy for the dead A bitter justice Begging eternity for love, A Hungarian Prayer The artist would like to acknowledge and thank the Hungarian people for their inspiration and collective voices singing though this prayer and Alanis Morisette for the English translation from Prayer Cycle. Please see Maggie Tchir’s Full Biography on page 26.

MERCY, A PRAYER Merino Wool, Churro Wools, constructed, stitched and braided with photo transfer on silk. 3 panels: each 244 x 92cm 2012 Maggie Tchir British Columbia

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Artworks listed in Red are included in the felt :: feutre travelling exhibition.

Akihisa Otsu Gazing..............................................................33 Alexandra Keely MacLean Plume...............................................3 Andrea Graham Corugosa, Conjoined......................................5,6 Angelika Werth Madeleine: The Referee Emily Carr.................31 Carmella Karijo Rother Cocoon 5, Cocoon 7.......................13,14 Cindy Obuck Sea Trumpet......................................................21 Connie Morey Fluff: In/Significance..........................................17 An Ecology of Things, Sister Formations............18 Deborah Dumka White Noise...................................................8 Diane Lemire Running in the Bush.........................................32 Donna Stockdale Pine Grosbeak............................................34 Elisabeth Wannaz Contemporaine...........................................20 Elizabeth Roy Rose Plate..................................................15,16 Fiona Duthie Joomchi Dress: Reveal, Cleft..........................23,24 Hamideh Abol Surrealism...................................................39,40 Jacqueline Bourque April .........................................................4 Jessica de Haas Shibori Kimono.............................................11 Joanne Circle Median..............................................................7 Judith Dios Memory of Rose...................................................12 June Jacobs Drought Revisited..............................................38 Kathleen Hill Earth Nest......................................................25,26 Laurie Steffler Butterfly...........................................................36 Lindsey McTavish White Winter...............................................27 Maggie Glossop Canadian Spaces: Glory Days........................37 Maggie Tchir Earth Nest......................................................25,26 Mercy, A Prayer...................................................41 Marjolein Dallinga Aotearoa 1, 2, 3.....................................29,30 Maureen Ballagh Drift, Meices..............................................28 Rosie Godbout Barcelona, Tableau 2 .................................9,10 Sandi Luck Open Windows.....................................................22 Trish Hirshkorn Yellow Slouch Hat, Black Sequin/Bead Hat......35 Ulrieke Benner Colour’s Circular Dance..................................19

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felt :: feutre is a juried exhibition of the finest contemporary felt work being created by Canadian fibre artists. This exhibit showcases work that is new, fresh, challenging, visually exciting, and dynamic. Work that gives the artist and viewer an opportunity to stretch their perception, through the use of the medium or the concept/narrative presented. Work that represents the highest qualities of technical execution, and artistic /design sensibilities. felt :: feutre celebrates feltmaking in Canada in all its forms. In addition to the exhibition and hosting Canadian Felting Week, felt:: feutre is a ongoing web based resource for everything that is happening in the world of Canadian Feltmaking including Artists Profiles, Fibre Supply Resources, and a Canadian Calendar of Events.

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felt :: feutre contemporary canadian felt exhibition 2013  
felt :: feutre contemporary canadian felt exhibition 2013